How can a Nikon d3100 be better then a D40 if...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by waloshin, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    How can a Nikon d3000 be better then a D40 if the image sensor is larger then the d3100.

    How can the image quality be better on the Nikon d3100?

    Nikon d50 6.1 mp: 23.7 x 15.5 mm CCD sensor

    Nikon d3100 14.2 mp: 23.1 x 15.4 mm CMOS sensor
  2. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Answer: 2 (3?) generations newer sensor and image capture/processing technology can make up for the smaller photosite size
  3. Rondue macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    And to throw in, the cameras video options just dont exist in the D40. Thats a huge deal for most.
  4. npropes macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2010
    It all really depends on what you want to do with the camera. If you're going to be shooting in available light and can't spring for a FX camera, then the D40 will do better than either the D3000 or D3100. Less pixels in the same amount of space means that more light can be absorbed by each pixel therefore giving better low-light photos.

    If you want to shoot videos with your DSLR, then the D3100 is for you.

    Remember that these are entry level DSLRs so you really do want a jack of all trades which is what the D3100 really is. Its not great at anything, but its good at most things. If you want a GREAT low-light camera, you're going to end up spending over $4,000 to get a D700/D3 and a matching full frame lens. While you can get an entry level camera that adds in video features for under $1,000 with multiple lenses.

    Also, I'd suggest picking up the 35mm f/1.8 if you're going to be shooting without a flash. The SB-400 is also a great addition for only $115, it gives you the ability to bounce the flash to make your indoor photos look much better and less like deer caught in the headlights.

    I never carry a big FX camera on vacation. I generally carry a D5000 with the 18-200mm lens. If I'm going to be shooting landscapes, I'll bring along an FX camera or my 10-24mm lens for DX.
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    By this logic, the really early digital cameras with only 2 or 4 MP should be outshooting the D3s, as the individual pixels were bigger.

    Pixel pitch does contribute a great deal to low-light performance, but other factors such as advanced noise handling and advanced sensor design (i.e. back-illuminated sensors) also impact noise capability.

    From the samples available, the D3100 does much better than the D40 in low light, and does it with more resolution too.

  6. Abraxsis macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    Ditto on the 3100 having much better ISO performance, it is a much better camera when compared to the D40. Image size everything. Also, body specs aren't as important as glass.

    One place where I feel the D40 really shines is situations where you need to reign in sunlight or other really strong ambient light. The D40 has an electronic shutter which allows it to sync at nearly any speed. I've made the middle of the day look like dusk or even night if you have a really high Ws strobe setup.

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